Weekending!

yellow flowers

fun work

neat wish plants

yum

coleslaw

picnic fun

picnicing

yummy food

record music time

listening

dancing to sinatra

strawberry festival

hay!

fsetival

The weather was beautiful this weekend and we wanted to get out as much as possible to enjoy it! We enjoyed a wonderful picnic in the park with new friends on saturday. Ellie got to play with baby friends while Mama and Daddy chatted and enjoyed yummy picnic food (these new friends of ours can sure cook)! I got lots of time to work on Cory’s fun peacock sampler. I’m learning all sorts of new stitches thanks to you tube. Jeff and I had a little impromptu date of farmers market cherries,  lemon quartz cheese and the final episode of The Office (while Ellie took a very long nap in Mama’s arms). And Saturday evening ended with the record player on and Daddy and Ellie dancing to Sinatra, Elvis and the 5th Dimension. Sunday we wanted to check out the California Strawberry Festival which was in the next town over. Besides an adorable sun hat we found for Ellie, the festival was a big disappointment. More money pit and less festival. After a very pricey, not so good lunch, we made our exit and enjoyed the rest of  sunday at home, gardening a little bit, cleaning a little bit and relaxing a little bit. How was your weekend?

*joining Amanda for Weekending.

Portrait Project

20/52

sleeper kitten

eloise: I realized I hadn’t captured you sleeping yet in any of these portraits. You’ve spent so many hours in my arms or lying next to me napping. I love gazing down at this little person I’ve made. You are slowly beginning to transition to napping on your own, in your own bed  and I know I’m going to miss you cradled in my arms fast asleep. You are growing quickly my dear and I dare say, I’m already seeing less of a baby and more of a little girl each new day.

-joining Jodi for the lovely 52 project

Make + Listen

letter fun

still working

steve and edie

I’m joining Simple Things Notebook today with the Make and Listen Along. It’s a good way to keep me motivated on working on these projects and getting them done. And music is just such a special, wonderful thing. I think it will be neat for Ellie to look back one day and see what we were listening too when she was just a wee one. 🙂

MAKING: I have decided to start making Ellie some fabric letters inspired by Meg’s Montessori Letters from her book Sew Liberated. I’m thinking it’s going to be a long, drawn out project… something I will try to complete before her first birthday. (I can’t believe that’s only about three months away)!

I’m still working on a Softie bear for a friend’s baby. It’s been slow going as well.

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LISTENING: My Dad let us borrow this great new Steve Martin/ Edie Brickell c.d.  I am a big fan of the banjo and Steve Martin. I once spotted Steve Martin at an art show at UCLA. He was alone and kept smiling at me. Who knows, if I was brave enough I could have had a date with the guy. I saw Martin again years later in Orange County at one of the most fantastic concerts ever. This man can not only get a whole crowd hysterically laughing but he can play the banjo… really well! Can you tell I have a little crush? This c.d. is nice to have on in the background, preferably on a sunny spring day with all the windows open. Ellie liked the first song the  best and it seems she’s fond of Steve Martin too. She liked checking out the pictures of him on the c.d. case.

Just Write: Our evening walk

It’s five o’clock.

Daddy is done with work. The dogs can sense the end of the day. They peel themselves off the couch, stretch, yawn and shake off the long naps they take every day. They know it’s time for a walk. A “W”, as we call it. Don’t say the “w” word too loud or Linus will start getting too excited.

Daddy puts his shoes on. He smiles at us and asks about our day. He asks but he really already knows most of what our day entailed. He sits at his desk peeking out at us through the baby gate. We can hear him take his calls. We can see him writing and thinking hard. We like him home with us. Even if he’s in that back office most of the day. He’s accessible and we like that.

He straps the Ergo carrier to his chest as I get the dogs leashes on. Charlotte the french bulldog prances around as I jingle the leash closer to her. She runs away in excitement and I yell at her to come. I end up walking over to her… always. Linus the shepherd comes right over. This afternoon walk is the highlight of his day. The morning walk is just for sniffing and leaving his scent every which way, but this one is usually longer and faster paced. He starts panting at the thought of getting out. I pat him on the head as I clip his leash into place, knowing how much he enjoys getting out. Both dogs move quickly to the door. Ellie is loaded into the carrier. She kicks her legs in amusement at the regular scene. I give her a quick kiss. I give Daddy a quick kiss. We head out.

We walk. We talk. We talk about our days. We talk about finances. We talk about my parents and his. We talk about us as new parents. We talk about weekend plans and gardening and dreams of owning a farm. We talk and relate. Ellie listens to her parents enjoying each others company. She hears us discuss important topics every night and she hears us chat about the day-to-day. Sometimes we tickle her feet and play peekaboo. Sometimes we talk just to her, tell her what we see as we walk by the big park. The neighborhood dogs are off leash chasing balls. We point out the doggies and wave to our neighbors. Sometimes we walk so far and talk so much, Ellie cuddles in close to Daddy’s chest and drifts off to sleep for the remainder of the walk. While she sleeps we talk about how beautiful she is and how lucky we are to have her as our own.

The air is cool and a little bit salty. It’s breezy and it’s getting close to dinner time. We make our way home. Linus is reluctant to head back. He could walk for miles. Charlotte is eager for her dog food dinner.   We make it back home. I take the leashes off the dogs and set them on the rack in the laundry room. They settle in for the night. Daddy unbuckles the carrier and sits quietly down in the big chair. A sleeping baby still on his chest. It was a good walk… our evening walk.

– linking up with Heather for JUST WRITE.

A Tour of Ellie’s Room

come join us

Come join us for a tour of Ellie’s room…

the whole thing

I guess you can call Ellie’s room a Montessori-inspired room. (Here and here is a little bit about Montessori bedrooms. I don’t subscribe to everything Montessori, but I like some of it’s child-led approaches and so I have taken what I like and applied it here in her room as well as from other philosophies too). Being a preschool teacher and infant/toddler caregiver for twelve years before I quit to stay home with Ellie, creating an environment for the child was a large part of my job. It was one of the most joyful parts of my job. So when it came down to creating a space for my own daughter, I felt like I should have put this together a very long time ago. She’s just been so close to me for these past nine months, rarely leaving my arms and when she did, she was very close by to Mama at all times. That’s how she liked it and that’s how I preferred it as well.

Until about a month ago, when she mastered the crawl. Now she’s wanting far less to do with Mama and so very much more wanting to explore her environment. It was time to create a space all for her, a place where she could play and sleep and be safe and explore to her hearts content. I had a vision in mind and of course there was pinterest and many lovely blogs for inspiration. There are still a few more odds and ends I would like to add to the room, but so far, it seems to be pretty perfect for this little explorer I have.

stuffed animalsA soft basket of stuffed animals, some are Mama made and some are gifted animals.

bedThe floor bed is an Ikea mattress. We originally tried a crib mattress in here but it was just too small for our wiggly girl, so a twin worked better. The quilt is one Gramma made as well as the matching pillow. I made the ELLIE letters and would like to get them on the wall at some point. The Steif bear was mine as a child. The banner was handmade by me. The cloud mobile is from etsy and the art is a Maurice Sendak print from In The Night Kitchen. I have most of the art up high enough so that she can’t get to it, but low enough so she can see it well. I would like to put up some art at her direct eye level and for her to touch but haven’t had the chance yet.

close up mobile

eloise printThis was a print that was a part of my own collection. I am a big children’s book collector and loved this piece when I saw it online. Funny thing is, the middle book in the painting is ELOISE. We didn’t realize this until after she was born! It looks perfect in Ellie’s bedroom.

blankets

I love blankets, so of course in every room there is always a few extra blankets lying around. There’s Ellie’s main quilt, but she also has her beautiful crocheted blankie her Great Aunt made her and a little blanket that belonged to me as a baby. The sheepskin was put down in front of the bed in case she rolls out, a little added cushion. montessori shelvesThese are Ellie’s toy shelves. They are just perfect for little hands to grab toys right off of as well as pull herself up on them to a standing position. I found this shelf at Target. The toys on the shelves will be rotated to keep her interest. The fabric boxes on top were also made by Gramma. The art is another Sendak print from Where The Wild Things Are.

sill

sill 2

The window sill is adorned with these great vintage blocks I found at an antique market a few months back. They are earthquake puttied to the window sill so they can’t fall down. The lovely stuffed animal is an etsy find.

reading corner

The reading corner needs a bit of work, but it will do for now. I have a little soft basket filled with books I will rotate. The colorful mat is something I made years ago. On the wall adjacent to the reading corner is the full size acrylic mirror I got on clearance at a teacher supply store. Jeff bolted it into the wall and it’s been the big hit of the room.

mirror time

ellie likes her reflection

crawling out of bed

there she goes

and shes off

reaching

explore the shelves

exploring with mouth

fun with mirror

excitedAs you can see, Ellie is very excited about her new room. We have been spending some time in here every day, exploring, crawling around, playing and napping. It’s a nice space for this growing girl, a space that will grow and change with her development and needs. Right now it’s simple, sweet and perfect for this nine month old. A space she can truly call her own.

Weekending!

char at the beach

jumping dog

char loves the beach

by the market

fun at the market

takin that hat off

playing w friends

flowers

family

me and boo

love love
pool party

four generations

happy in the pool?

attentive

end of the day

After a long and pretty tough week, I was looking forward to a nice Mothers’ Day weekend. My little girl is still teething and needing lots of extra love and attention these days. She’s also quite the mover and the shaker and this Mama here is pretty tired from chasing her around and trying to keep her little noggin’ from bumping into too many things.  We also had quite the scare this week when our shepherd had a run in with what we think to be a feral cat who was brave enough to climb over into our yard. The cat seemed  okay as he took off after Jeff split the two apart, but our shepherd was left with scratches across his face and paws as well as a fractured tooth which had to be removed the next day. I love my animals but I don’t always like them acting like animals. After spending a day with the vet, we brought a very loopy dog home. He’s fine now and lets hope the cats stay out of our yard! While Linus was at the vet, we took Charlotte to the beach to start our weekend. We let this dog run a long the dog beach side and she loved it! It had been awhile since she had been to the beach and it was fun watching her frolic in the sand. We visited the farmers market and were excited to pick up some stone fruits already! Yum! We also enjoyed seeing friends and their babies at a house warming party and finally we spent sunday with my family including my Grandmother (Ellie’s Great Grandmother). It was a VERY hot day. Perfect for a first dip in a kiddie pool that Ellie’s Aunties picked up for her. It was nice to spend time with my family. I’m so very lucky that I have such a close relationship with them. My first Mothers Day with Ellie (outside of my tummy). It’s so neat to be able to spend Mothers Day with Ellie, my mom and my grandmother. I had gone through old pictures of when I was a baby, last night, and came across a few of my mom and grandma in a kiddie pool with me as a baby. It’s kind of magical when life replays itself with a new generation. I guess I’m finding being a mother both tough as all heck but extremely magical  and amazing the next minute. My baby girl has quite the personality already. She can be stubborn and strong-willed ( Dad says, “like her mother…” I say ” ahem… like her father.”), but at the end of the day… at the end of this long week and at the end of this lovely Mothers Day… I sat in the rocking chair, my stubborn, sweet baby cradled in my arms. Her blond hair smelling sweet and clean from the evening bath. I sat there rocking my girl to sleep and felt so very blessed and lucky to be her mother. I couldn’t help but get teary holding her and loving her so very much. This quote I came across on Jodi’s blog resonates with me so very much. I had to take it for my own and use it here today…

“The most difficult part of birth is the first year afterwards. It is the year of travail – when the soul of a woman must birth the mother inside her. The emotional labour pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pangs of birth; these are the growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and fear and makes room for sacrifice and love. It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than the event of childbirth, perhaps it is even more sacred.” – Joy Kusek

Happy Mothers Day to my mother, to my grandmothers and to all the mothers out there. We are all so lucky to be given this gift of Motherhood.

 

*linking up with Amanda today.

Portrait Project

19/52

exploring

eloise: It was so difficult choosing a portrait this week from the fantastic shots I took of you playing in the grass. But this one stuck out for me for some reason. Maybe because after a long, tough week of teething upsets and restless sleep and fussing because you want to keep moving and not go to sleep at all… these moments in the yard were precious. You kept picking up leaves that had fallen from the orange tree and crunching them in your hands. You were fascinated by them and for once in the past couple weeks, instead of crawling and standing everywhere, you just sat there exploring. It was neat to watch and document and of course gave this Mama a bit of a peaceful and much needed recharge.I could have chosen one of the adorable shots of your smiling face, but this one seemed the most appropriate… you are completely engulfed in your important work of the child. Carry on and enjoy my love. 

– joining the lovely Jodi and the 52 project!

-last week’s favorites : this one was neat! I always look forward to seeing what Ruby paints, this week’s was a lovely red painting! And I thought thisa was a neat shot!

Making + Listening

making

ellies room

listening

MAKING-  It has been a busy, tiring week of teething but in between the walks and the extra cuddling, I’ve managed to start another little softie for a friend’s baby due this summer and finish up on Ellie’s room (for now). (The Ellie’s room post will be coming next week).

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LISTENING- We’ve also had a breakthrough in the bath tub department. Ellie has hated taking a bath for months now. I’ve been trying to get her used to it ever so gently, but it always ends up in tears (she’s just fine in the shower). Well, just last week I tried making the water a wee bit hotter and sure enough, she was just fine! So we’ve added bath time to the night time routine and it’s been wonderful.  While we bathe, Daddy turns on the record player in the next room and lately, we’ve been enjoying Debussy’s Clouds. A little classical for me and my girl.

-linking up today with Dawn’s Making+Listening.